Gulf Coast Sound
Whether this is your first season or you're a returning vet with 20 years of experience you can have a home and family in GCS. The Corps has set the goals and standards high with the intention of putting on a program of the highest caliber, but at a level that everyone can attain if we work together.
The Gulf Coast Sound Drum & Bugle Corps (based in Houston, TX) is now in it's fourth year of existence. During our first two years we experimented with the concept of an indoor Drum & Bugle Corps. The general idea was to combine an indoor Winter Guard with the awesome power and passion of a Drum & Bugle Corps. The result was a 'Winter Corps.' It worked out extremely well and acted as a spring-board for the Corps to transition into a full fledged Drum & Bugle Corps for the extremely successful 2004 season. Although GCS will likely keep the Winter Corps going in the future, the emphasis of the organization will be focused on the competitive "out-door" Corps.
GCS is an "all-age" Corps. So, whether this is your first season or you're a returning vet with 20 years of experience you can have a home and family in GCS. The Corps has set the goals and standards high with the intention of putting on a program of the highest caliber, but at a level that everyone can attain if we work together.
Here's a little bit about how we got started:
The idea came about because there were no competing senior/all-age Drum Corps in the Texas area at the time (2001). The nearest two were the Atlanta CorpsVets and the San Francisco Renegades, each around a thousand miles away. Members from Bayou City Blues (our home town corps) had been traveling to other Corps (such as the Syracuse Brigadiers and the Atlanta CorpsVets) in order to compete. This was getting very expensive and the time had come to get a local Corps established that was capable of competing.
So, in order to find a way to compete locally and promote Drum Corps in the area, I came up with the idea of forming an "in-door" Corps. Around July 2001 I approached Dena Anderson (TCGC Contest Coordinator and Mellophone player in BCB) about the Texas Color Guard Circuit's rules in respect to using horn players in a winter guard show. Since there were already percussion ensembles doing this, using horns seemed like the next logical step. Dena said that there were no specific rules forbidding it, so we had a starting place.
Over the next few months I recruited enough horn and drum players that wanted to try this to form a Corps, albeit a really small one (being inside of a gym, it doesn't take very many horns to get loud). The next problem was finding guard members. Again, Dena helped me out. She introduced me to Cathy Marmolejo, who ran the MCM Winter Guard at the University of Houston, and she was also interested in trying this. Having a union between MCM and GCS worked out really well because it provided a great place to rehearse, the U of H campus.
We weren't quite sure what to call this thing, though. It wasn't really a Winter Guard, but it wasn't a traditional Drum & Bugle Corps either. So, Mary Knight coined the phrase "Winter Corps" for us and it stuck.
Our next step was to find a name. Initially we intended it call it Bayou City Blues Winter Corps. However, due to some internal political issues we were forced to make a break from BCB and form a seperate unit. After MUCH discussion the members voted to name the new Corps "Gulf Coast Sound." One of our missions that first year was to recruit new members for BCB and we did everything possible to accomplish that goal. It wasn't until much later (and acting on a directive from GCDCA) that GCS became a nationally competitive "out-door Corps."
Once we were under way and having regular rehearsals, I approached the Gulf Coast Drum Corps Associates Board of Directors about GCS becoming a seperate member Corps. After many phone conversations and a brief meeting GCS became the second member of GCDCA and I was selected to act as Corps Director by the Board.
Here's the list of the Charter Members of Gulf Coast Sound:
Sopranos: Eric Brooks Andy Jurick Orlando Rios David Schneider
Mellophone: Dena Anderson Nikki Nauck
Baritones: Anthony Castaneda Mary Knight Jason Rose
Contrabasses: Scott Miller Mike Predmore
Percussionists: Craig Gardner
With the exception of Eric Brooks (who actually came on board later in the season) every charter member of GCS came from Bayou City Blues. In that first year nearly all of us marched with both Corps.
I can only imagine what the future holds for GCS. I would like to see the "Winter Corps" style catch on in Texas. This would be a great way to get Drum Corps back to its roots of being a local activity that anyone can do. There is very little money or travel involved in a unit of this size and any high school or college could form one. This could eventually lead to a Winter Corps Circuit, possibly as a part of WGI, TCGC, and/or DCI or DCA. In fact, DCA has had a "Mini-Corps" competition for over a decade and starting in 2005 DCA South is hosting one as well.
Gulf Coast Sound will field a nationally competitive Class A Corps again in 2005. We have every intention of contending for the DCA Class A title at the DCA Championships. If you're interested in being a part of this venture and have the drive and determination to be a champion please contact the Corps. We would love to have you aboard.
Whatever else the future holds it's going to be interesting and a lot of fun.
"CORPS- A group of people working TOGETHER towards the same goal."
Jason Rose GCS Corps Director
- www.gulfcoastsound.org official web site